Author: College of Engineering

Sue Hill is the Digital Content Manager for the College of Engineering.

Engineering Alumni Activity Summer 2023

Teik Lim
Teik Lim

Return on Information-New Jersey posted a story about Teik Lim ’85 (B.S. Mechanical Engineering) being awarded the Chinese-American Academic & Professional Society’s 2023 Distinguished Leadership Achievement Award. Lim is the president of the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Lim’s career has spanned from the private sector to university administration.

David Coveyou
David Coveyou

Northern Express featured a story about Coveyou Scenic Farm in Petoskey, Michigan, a five-generation farm run by David Coveyou (B.S. Engineering). While he pursued his engineering career, his parents were getting older and none of his siblings seemed interested in taking over the operation of the family farm. Coveyou’s innovations in energy efficiency on the farm were honored by Gov. Rick Snyder. One of the most popular aspects of the farm is the Open Market program.

Todd Contrell
Todd Contrell

Todd Contrell ’96 (B.S. Chemical Engineering) was named CEO Azelis Americas, a leading global innovation service provider in the specialty chemicals and food ingredients industry. Contrell has worked for some of the global leaders in the CASE (coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers) industry, his last position having been Managing Director Americas for a large European manufacturer. The Department of Chemical Engineering congratulates Todd Contrell on his achievements.

Business WireYahoo! Finance and Semiconductor Today covered the appointment of Wayne Struble ’81 ’83 (B.S. M.S. Electrical Engineering) as senior vice president of advanced semiconductor technology at MACOM Technology Solutions Holdings Inc. The announcement was picked up by over 30 regional, business and tech industry outlets. Struble is an expert in radio frequency, microwave and millimeter wave integrated circuit design, semiconductor device modeling and testing, compound semiconductor process development, and wireless communication system design.

Bhopi Dhall
Bhopi Dhall

PR Newswire and Yahoo! Finance published a story about the new book “Demystifying IT: The Language of IT for the CEO” co-authored by Bhopi Dhall ’69 (M.S. Electrical Engineering). The story was picked up by more than 140 regional news outlets. Bhopi Dhall is the founder and CEO of CG Infinity. “IT is all around us, and the enormous potential to use it more proactively in every facet of business cannot be ignored,” Dhall said.

Joe Berger
Joe Berger

Near North Now of Newaygo County, Michigan, published a Q&A with former Husky and retired NFL lineman Joe Berger ’05 (B.S. Mechanical Engineering). This past Spring Joe Berger was inducted into the Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame, a fitting honor for the former Newaygo Lion who spent 13 seasons facing down the best defensive linemen in the world, primarily as a member of the Minnesota Vikings.

Ryan Bauman
Ryan Bauman

Ryan Bauman, a 2007 civil engineering graduate, has been honored as one of Engineering News-Record’s Top 20 under 40 for 2023. As transit section manager at HDR Engineering Inc., Bauman emphasizes work-life balance, organizing events that involve coworkers, spouses and children. “Collaboration is at the core of what we do in our industry,” says Bauman.

Klynt Baker
Klynt Baker

AftermarketNews covered the promotion of Klynt Baker ’95 (B.S. electrical engineering) from vice president of operations to president of Sonnax Transmission Company. Baker brings to his new position more than 25 years of experience in the global automotive and aftermarket industries.

Lars Taavola
Lars Taavola

Attorney Intel included MTU alumnus Lars Taavola ‘96 (B.S. chemical engineering, engineering management), the general counsel of brands for Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, in its 2023 list of the top 50 attorneys in New Jersey. Before joining Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, Taavola was a senior patent counsel and head of IP at Amneal Pharmaceuticals.

Natalea Cohen
Natalea Cohen

Natalea Cohen ’23 (M.S. Geology) is the author of an entry in the U.S. Geological Survey’s Yellowstone Caldera Chronicles. The article discussed new satellite communication technology being tested at Yellowstone monitoring stations and their impact on real-time data collection and transmission. Cohen is an intern at Earthscope Consortium, which is dedicated to transforming global geophysical research and education.

Leigha Woelffer
Leigha Woelffer

WLUC TV6 mentioned Michigan Tech in a story about the promotion of Leigha Woelffer ’21 (B.S. Electrical Engineering) to the rank of first lieutenant in the U.S. Space Force. The Michigan Tech ROTC graduate works at Space Systems Command in Los Angeles as a Data Transport Technical Agent.

Hemmings Motor News mentioned Michigan Tech in a story written by Scott Overton (B.S. Mechanical Engineering) about his stint as a summer worker in Spokane, Washington, in 1966 as a third-year mechanical engineering student. Among other tasks, Overton developed a safety brace to install on an uplifted dump truck frame to protect anyone working under the dump bed.

Greg Ives
Greg Ives

The Iron Mountain Daily News mentioned Michigan Tech in a story about Greg Ives ’03 (B.S. Mechanical Engineering) visiting Norway Speedway last Friday (July 7) for an autograph session at the Auto Value Super Stock race. Ives graduated from Michigan Tech University and almost immediately moved down south with his engineering degree to begin his NASCAR career as a crew chief and chassis engineer. Ives is a NASCAR crew chief for Hendrick Motorsports driver Alex Bowman.

Merle Potter
Merle Potter

WebWire mentioned Michigan Tech in a press release about the newly published textbook “Mathematical Methods for Engineering and Science,” co-authored by Merle Potter ’58 ’61 (B.S. Mechanical Engineering, M.S. Engineering Mechanics). The release was picked up by more than a dozen regional news outlets. The text introduces undergraduate students of engineering and science to applied mathematics essential to the study of many problems.

Eli Vlaisavljevich
Eli Vlaisavljevich

Virginia Tech News mentioned Michigan Tech in a story about Eli Vlaisavljevich ’10 (B.S. Biomedical Engineering) being named the university’s Kendall and Laura Hendrick Junior Faculty Fellow. Vlaisavljevich is an associate professor of biomedical engineering and mechanics at Virginia Tech. Vlaisavljevich’s research and scholarship focuses on developing histotripsy as a noninvasive, high precision, and image-guided cancer ablation method.

Shannon Rische
Shannon Rische

Radio Results Network mentioned Michigan Tech in a story about the new supervisor of the Hiawatha National Forest: Shannon Rische (B.S. Surveying Engineering). Shannon started her Forest Service career as a civil engineer, then spent eight years as the Forest Engineer on the Huron-Manistee National Forests before moving into a Staff Officer position for nine years on the same unit.

Kevin Pageau
Kevin Pageau

Composites World Magazine mentioned Michigan Tech in a story announcing Kevin Pageau ’81 (B.S. Mechanical Engineering) as the recipient of the Society of Plastics Engineers Automotive Division’s 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award. Pageau, owner and president of International Marketing Alliance, has been a major contributor to the SPE Automotive Division Innovation Awards Program for many years.

Gary Anderson
Gary Anderson

The Mining Journal mentioned Michigan Tech in a story about Ishpeming Public Schools’ Halls of Excellence, created to honor former students, staff and others who have contributed honor and prestige to the school district. Gary Anderson ’67 (B.S. Chemical Engineering), who established a scholarship trust for IPS students at MTU, is one of the inaugural inductees. He spent his entire career at Dow Corning, becoming president, CEO, and chairman. He retired in 2004 after seeing the firm grow thirtyfold and be recognized as one of the nation’s top 100 companies to work for.

Carter Paprocki
Carter Paprocki

Carter Paprocki ’20 ’22 (B.S. M.S. Mechanical Engineering), a second-year doctoral student in acoustics at Pennsylvania State University, was named the recipient of the Rickover Fellowship in Nuclear Engineering, as announced by Penn State. As an undergraduate, Paprocki participated in Department of Defense-funded research with former Michigan Tech Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Andrew Barnard, including completing proof-of-concept work of a live scan sonar system for U.S. Navy SEAL scuba divers and a remote-controlled rescue device developed for dangerous rescues in Lake Superior.

Hailey Bondy and Jacob Smith stepping off a bus.
Hailey Bondy and Jacob Smith

Michigan Tech alums Jacob Smith ‘19 (mechanical engineering) and Hailey Bondy ‘19 (environmental engineering) were profiled in a story by the Daily Mining Gazette. The pair used their engineering backgrounds and other skills to convert a 1996 Chevy G30 bus into a moving home, which they’ve used to travel the country since September 2022 while on an extended honeymoon. “My education at MTU gave me the tools that I needed to maximize the small space that we were planning on living in, as well as incorporating new technologies that we built like our water filtration system, and heating and cooling systems in order to make it a comfortable living space,” Jacob said.

Dean Rossell
Dean Rossell mentioned Dean Rossell ’84 (M.S. Geology) in a story about estimates by the U.S. Geological Survey that the western Upper Peninsula could be home to substantial undiscovered nickel deposits. The story said a global nickel shortage is expected in 2026 due to increasing demand from the electric vehicle battery supply chain. Ted Bornhorst, a retired geology and mining professor at Michigan Tech, said Tesla supplier Talon’s geologist Rossell, a former student of his, is “one of the best.”

David Cvengros
David Cvengros

The Mining Journal mentioned Michigan Tech in a feature story about the newest members of the Upper Peninsula’s Sports Hall of Fame. Husky basketball and tennis player David Cvengros ’62 (B.S. Mechanical Engineering) was one of this year’s inductees. A five-sport athlete at Wakefield High School, he earned 17 letters and teamed with UPSHF inductee Rom Gilbert to win two U.P. doubles titles in tennis.

Kevin Ballinger
Kevin Ballinger

Medical Buyer and GlobeNewswire ran a press release about the appointment of Kevin Ballinger ’95 (B.S. Mechanical Engineering) to Shockwave Medical’s board of directors. Ballinger is CEO at Aldevron, a manufacturer of plasmid DNA, mRNA and proteins for use in advanced therapeutics. He is a recognized leader in the healthcare industry with over 25 years of professional experience.

Jesse Olson
Jesse Olson

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) mentioned Michigan Tech in a story announcing university participants in a 2024 mission concept program. The program will be sponsored by AFRL’s Space Vehicles Directorate under the University Nanosatellite Program (UNP). Jesse Olson ’17 (B.S. Mechanical Engineering/Electrical Engineering), UNP manager of the directorate’s small satellite branch, was quoted in the story.

Teik Lim
Teik Lim

Diverse: Issues in Higher Education profiled Teik Lim ’85 (B.S. Mechanical Engineering), who just completed his first year as president of the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Diversity of thought and experience are crucial in a technical institution, which is why Lim is so pleased with the diversity of NJIT. He is committed to bringing more women and underrepresented minorities into the STEM disciplines and fostering a sense of belonging on campus so everyone can thrive.

Andrea Larson
Andrea Larson

Wausau City Pages mentioned Michigan Tech in a story about ultramarathoner Andrea Larson ’08 (B.S. Chemical Engineering). Larson, who competed in Tennessee’s grueling Barkley Marathons in March, ran cross country for the Huskies. While at Michigan Tech, Larson joined the cross country team. Michigan Tech was like a dream, she says, with world-class cross-country ski trails about a five-minute walk away.

SWE Section Travels to SWE-Wisconsin Professional Day

Very large group of women at SWE Spring Forward 2023.
Image from SWE-Wisconsin Spring Forward 2023 Facebook page.

Last Saturday (April 15, 2023), MTU’s Society of Women Engineers (SWE) section attended the Annual SWE-Wisconsin Professional Day in Madison. We enjoyed visiting with the SWE-Wisconsin Professional Section, developing career skills and learning about engineering opportunities.

  • Gretchen Hein, SWE advisor, led an #IamRemarkable workshop, where participants learned how to advocate for themselves and others, and the importance of those skills in career development.
  • Second-year student Kathryn Krieger (environmental engineering) was honored as the 2023 GE-Healthcare Scholarship recipient. The scholarship committee was impressed with her involvement in SWE, Engineers without Borders and Delta Phi Epsilon.
  • The section received the Collegiate Section Achievement Award for establishing the SWE Section Endowed Scholarship.
  • We were also excited to see Andrea Falasco ’12 (B.S. Mechanical Engineering) and learn about her career path during the panel discussion on working for big versus small companies.

Nine section members attended:

  • Amanda West, junior (mechanical engineering):
    “I enjoyed networking with the other SWE sections in the region. It was great to learn how other students handle their organization and use it to help improve our own.”
  • Talia Olson, junior (mechanical engineering):
    “I enjoyed getting inspired by other women engineers and learning from their experiences. I learned how to brand myself and to own my strength in the workforce.”
  • Cassandra Borr, second-year (mechanical engineering):
    “I found this conference to be very empowering, as we were able to see what other women in the industry have accomplished and how they achieved it.”
  • Carissa Best, first-year (mechanical engineering):
    “I really enjoyed having the opportunity to hear the stories of confident women in STEM who were interested in empowering other women.”
  • Kathryn Krieger, second-year (environmental engineering):
    “SWE has grown to be such an important part of my college career. I am constantly inspired by the women around me and grateful for the opportunities for both personal and professional growth.”
  • Catherine Huston, second-year (materials science and engineering): 
    “Learning to own who I am and how to recognize my accomplishments was empowering and an experience I will carry with me as I navigate my path in life.”
  • Tory Cantrell, first-year (mechanical engineering):
    “The most important piece of advice that I will take away from this conference is how it is important to step outside of your comfort zone and evolve your leadership brand as you grow.”
  • Rixlie Fozilova, graduate student (environmental engineering):
    “The Spring Forward SWE conference provided me with an amazing opportunity to network with fellow engineering students and professionals from a wide variety of companies and backgrounds.”
  • Lydia Minzey, first-year (environmental engineering):
    “The conference empowered participants to believe in their abilities and reach out to achieve their full potential, even while being a minority in their field. I’m very grateful to have been able to attend and learn from the wise women present.”

SWE thanks the College of Engineering and engineering departments for supporting SWE throughout the year. We also thank the Undergraduate Student Government and our corporate sponsors, whose support made this travel possible.

By Gretchen Hein, Advisor, Society of Women Engineers.

Engineering Students Place High in the 2023 Graduate Research Colloquium

Researcher standing by her poster.
Tania Demonte Gonzalez

On behalf of the Graduate Student Government (GSG), we would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all the participants, judges, sponsors and collaborators who made the 2023 Graduate Research Colloquium (GRC) a resounding success. Last week, we witnessed over 80 presentations from graduate students all across the campus, showcasing their outstanding research, creativity and academic excellence.

The GRC ended on a high note with the banquet and award ceremony on Thursday (March 30). We would like to extend our warmest congratulations to the GRC award winners for their exceptional work and dedication.

This year’s GRC winners are:

Poster Presentations

  • First Place: Tania Demonte Gonzalez (ME-EM)
  • Second Place: Roya Bagheri (ME-EM)
  • Third Place: Shreya Joshi (Physics)

Oral Presentations

  • First Place: Tania Demonte Gonzalez (ME-EM)
  • Second Place: Kyle Wehmanen (KIP)
  • Third Place: Jordan Ewing (GMES)

We would also like to thank our esteemed judges for their invaluable time, expertise and insightful feedback. Your participation has been crucial to the success of the GRC and the development of our graduate students.

Our sincere appreciation goes to our sponsors and collaborators — the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Computing, and College of Engineering, the Dean of Students Office, and the Graduate School — for their generous support and partnership. Your contributions have made it possible for us to provide a platform for our graduate students to showcase their research and build their professional networks.

Once again, we thank everyone who participated in and supported the GRC. Your engagement and enthusiasm have made this event a remarkable and memorable experience. We look forward to seeing you again at the next GRC.

By the Graduate Student Government.

Tania Demonte Gonza presented on “Nonlinear Model Predictive Control of a Wave Energy Converter.”

Roya Bagheri presented on “Electrical Stimulation for Maturation of Heart Muscle Cells.”

Jordan Ewing presented on “Remote Sensing using Machine Learning for Off-Road Mobility.”

2023 Graduate Research Colloquium: GLRC Student Award Winners

Congratulations to the Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) Student Poster Award winners, in recognition of World Water Day, at the Graduate Student Government Graduate Research Colloquium last week:

  • First Place: Cassandra Reed-VanDam (CFRES)
  • Second Place: Michelle Bollini (CEGE)
  • Third Place: Mitch Kehne (BioSci)

By the Great Lakes Research Center.

Michelle Bollini presented on “Dynamic Bioaccumulation Model for a mining impacted Aquatic Ecosystem.”

Joint ROTC Commissioning Ceremony April 28, 2023

Cadets at the ceremony.

The Air Force and Army ROTC invite you to the Spring 2023 Commissioning Ceremony on Friday (April 28) from 7-9 p.m. at the Rozsa Center.

This semester we have 11 Air Force cadets and five Army cadets commissioning. Those commissioning are from the following programs:

Biological Sciences | Civil Engineering | Computer Science | Cybersecurity | Electrical Engineering | Engineering Fundamentals | Engineering Management | Environmental Engineering | Forestry | Mathematics | Mechanical Engineering | Physics

We will also be streaming the ceremony if you prefer to watch it live on YouTube. The stream will go live 15 minutes prior to the ceremony.

By Air Force and Army ROTC.

Engineering Students Interviewed About Design Expo 2023

Two students seating outside near the waterfront next to an off-road vehicle.
Mechanical engineering students in the Blizzard Baja Enterprise.

Michigan Technological University opens Design Expo to underclassmen

Briana Tucker and Nagesh Hatti (Enterprise) were quoted by WZMQ 19 News in coverage of Michigan Tech’s 2023 Design Expo, held Tuesday (April 18) at the Van Pelt and Opie Library and Memorial Union Building.

The Michigan Tech Baja Racing Team showcased their new car at the expo as well. This year they’ve been mandated to build a four-wheel car in order to compete and the team says they use the tools from class in every cylinder of their project.

Read more at WZMQ 19 News, by Mitchell Rife.

Michigan Tech University holds 23rd annual Design Expo with wide project variety

Tucker, senior Ryan Peckham (electrical engineering) and first-year engineering student Andrew Brenner were interviewed for a WLUC TV6 broadcast segment, and first-year chemical engineering students Ethan LeGrave, Veronica North, and Bailey Wright were mentioned in the accompanying story.

The Wireless Communications Enterprise (WCE) team showcased several of their projects.

Read more at WLUC TV6, by Colin Jackson.

Feats of innovation

The Daily Mining Gazette also covered Expo, mentioning students Breanna Gorman and Cade Meyer.

Breanna Gorman, president of the Enterprise team and fourth-year electrical engineering major showcased a portable battery pack intended for military backpacks.

Cade Meyer, a fourth-year mechanical engineering student was part of the Velovations Enterprise team. They focus on bicycle design projects.

Read more at the Daily Mining Gazette, by Aidan Reilly.

2023 Student Leadership Award Recipients Announced

Outstanding students, staff and alumni were honored Friday (April 14) during Michigan Tech’s 29th annual Student Leadership Awards Ceremony in the Memorial Union Building Ballroom. Thank you to everyone who joined us in celebrating their achievements!

Congratulations to all of the 2023 winners:

Cayton Scholz
Cayton Scholz

Keynote speaker Jessica L. Thompson ’12 (BS, Biological Sciences) was also recognized as the recipient of the 2023 Outstanding Young Alumni Award.

More information about the awards and the recipients can be found on the Student Leadership Awards webpage. We also invite the campus community to save the date for the 30th annual Student Leadership Awards Ceremony, which will be held April 12, 2024, in the MUB Ballroom.

By Student Leadership and Involvement.

Department of GMES Shines at the 2023 Annual SME Conference and Expo in Denver

The 2023 Annual Society of Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME) Conference & Expo, held February 26–March 1 in Denver, Colorado, was a huge success for the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences (GMES) at Michigan Tech. A large group of students and faculty representing the mining engineering and geological engineering programs attended the event, including eight BS students, five MS students, and a PhD student, along with two faculty members. They presented their research, received awards, and connected with alumni and industry.

The students in attendance were Michael Carly, Kolby Carpenter, Leanne Daanen, Jack Hawes, Jake Maxon, John Myaard, Jared Searl, Max Stange, Charles Addai, Ian Gannon, DharmaSai Eshwar Reddy Sirigiri, Enoch Nii-Okai, Emmanuel Wolubah, and Abid Danish.

Research Presentations

Associate Professor and Witte Family Endowed Faculty Fellow in Mining Engineering Snehamoy Chatterjee, delivered an oral presentation titled “Workers’ Compensation Data Analysis to Characterize Injury Severity in the Mining Industry,” based on his ongoing NIOSH-funded research.

Dr. Chatterjee’s MS student DharmaSai Eshwar Reddy Sirigiri gave an oral presentation titled “Modeling the Number of Days Lost from a Mining Accident by a Two-Stage Hierarchical Machine Learning Approach and MSHA Accident Data.”

Dr. Chatterjee’s PhD student Abid Danish presented a poster titled “Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning-based approach for clustering analysis of mining accident narratives.”


Dr. Nathan Manser, professor of practice in mining engineering and the chair for the Upper Peninsula Section of SME, accepted the Miners Give Back Award on behalf of the Upper Peninsula and Wisconsin SME local sections. This award is given annually and recognizes extraordinary achievements in community service and the advancement of the strategic objectives of SME during the past year by the local section membership. The focus of their work involved a collaboration with 4H to promote geosciences to middle-school-aged children in the region.

Alumni Connections

Michigan Tech alumni have always had strong representation within SME. Most notably, Marc LeVier (MTU BSMY ’71, MS ‘77) became the 2023 SME President on March 1 at the conclusion of SME Annual Conference & Expo.

As part of the week-long activities at SME, the GMES department hosted an alumni engagement event in the Hyatt Regency Downtown. About 66 guests attended the two-hour social event, including alumni from several MTU departments such as GMES and the Departments of Chemical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering.

The attendees came from classes in the mid-1980s through our most recent graduates, showcasing the vast network of connections alumni have, especially in the geoscience and minerals industries. A few members of the Industrial Advisory Board for Mining Engineering at MTU attended the event to rekindle connections with students and alumni. Our special thanks to Julie Marinucci for helping with the event organization! The event was a great opportunity for everyone to network and catch up with old friends. Overall, the alumni engagement event was a success, and plans for the next meeting in Phoenix are already underway. We are grateful to all the alumni who attended and look forward to seeing even more of them at future events.

Five people standing at a table in a large room.
GMES alumni event: (left to right) Luis Sierra (BSMG ‘05), Katie Robertson (BSMG ‘04), Trent Weatherwax (BSMG ‘03), John Uhrie (PhD ‘96), Theodosia Uhrie (BS STC ‘91). Photo credit: Julie Marinucci.
Six people standing at a table in a large room.
GMES alumni event: (left to right) Amol Paithankar (MSMG ’17; MS PhD ’20); Abid Danish (Mining Engineering PhD student); Bowen Li (Research Professor, Materials Science and Engineering); Charles Addai (Mining Engineering MS Student); Emmanuel Wolubah (Mining Engineering MS Student); and Enoch Nii-Okai (Mining Engineering MS Student). Photo credit: Julie Marinucci.
Four people standing near the wall in a large room.
GMES alumni event: (left to right) Richard Saccany (MTU BSMG ‘71), Don Larsen (MTU BSMY ‘79), Komar Kawatra (MTU Chemical Engineering), Mike Onsager (MTU BSEE ‘76). Photo credit: Julie Marinucci.
Four people standing in a large room.
Michael Carley (BSGE ‘23), Jake Maxon (BSMG ‘23), Nathan Manser (BSMG ‘01), and Kurt Doran (MTU ‘04). Photo credit: Julie Marinucci.


The MTU Student Chapter of SME participated in the Komatsu Student and Professor event at the conference, a dueling-piano themed event with over 300 attendees from schools worldwide.

Group of 15 people cheering and holding a Night on Bourbon Street from Michigan Tech sign.
The GMES group at the Komatsu student night event. Upper row, left to right: Kolby Carpenter, Charles Addai, Emmanuel Wolubah, Jack Hawes, Max Stange, Snehamoy Chatterjee, Nathan Manser, Dharmasai Eshwar Reddy S. Lower row, left to right: Abid Danish, John Myaard, Jake Maxon, Enoch Nii-Okai, Michael Carly, Ian Gannon, Leanne Daanen.

Other SME Activities

Director of MTU Mine Safety Program (hosted at GMES) Matt Portfleet, joined by mine safety trainers Marisa Roerig, Ron Gradowski, and Jake Drenth, also attended the SME conference. They had great opportunities to meet others within the mining industry and to exchange ideas. Michigan Tech Mine Safety also had the privilege of taking a two-hour private tour of the Colorado School of Mines “Edgar” mine. This is strictly an educational and research mine, which is operated by the school to provide students with hands-on experience and a location for research projects.

Says Matt Portfleet: “It was great to hear firsthand from our graduate student tour guides about the activities taking place there. Following this, we visited the Capitol Prize gold mine to experience some of the history of the area.”

The last day of our trip was again spent at the Colorado School of Mines, this time with Korky Vault, a 25-year veteran of mine safety training and specialist on cognitive impairments caused by sleep deprivation, substance abuse, and other influences. “This training provided us valuable knowledge and resources to share with our Mine safety trainees here in Michigan.”

Five people wearing hardhats and gear in a lighted mine shaft.
The MTU Mine Safety Program team explores the CSM’s “Edgar” mine.


We thank the Richard Saccany Mining Program Fund, the Robert Hendricks Mining Endowment Fund, and all our friends who contributed to the Mining and Material Processing Engineering Fund. Their contributions made it possible for our students to attend the SME conference and gain exposure to the latest advances in mining engineering research and practice, network with industry professionals, and explore future career paths.

As the department chair, I cannot overstate the importance of attending professional meetings for our students’ career development. The in-person attendance of the SME Conference & Expo was crucially important for building their professional networks and gaining valuable insights into the latest developments in the field. I believe that these experiences will contribute significantly to their success in their chosen careers.

One student attendee, John Myaard, shared: “I learned a lot and made some great connections with people in a diverse range of industries like mining, research, and mineral processing.”

Overall, the participation of our department in the 2023 SME Conference & Expo was a great success, and we look forward to participating in future events.

By Aleksey Smirnov, chair of GMES.

Dean’s Teaching Showcase: Radheshyam Tewari

Radheshyam Tewari
Radheshyam Tewari

Radheshyam Tewari, associate teaching professor from the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (ME-EM) has been selected as the featured instructor this week in the Deans’ Teaching Showcase.

Tewari will be recognized at an end-of-term event with other showcase members and is a candidate for the CTL Instructional Award Series.

Tewari is an extremely versatile instructor, excelling in teaching many different ME-EM courses that vary by type, size and level. He contributes significantly to developing, revising and improving courses, curricula and programs. Examples include developing and substantially revising several senior elective and graduate-level face-to-face and online courses, such as ME4695/5695 Additive Manufacturing, ME4650/5650 Quality Engineering, ME5670 Experimental Design in Engineering, ME4665/5655 Lean Manufacturing, and ME4655/5656 Production Planning.

These courses are very popular and highly subscribed, which reflects Tewari’s passion for continuously improving courses. To make his courses more applied and the student learning more active, he incorporates industry-based projects in ME5650, research-based projects in ME5670, and hands-on manufacturing process simulation-based projects in ME5655.

“Radheshyam has always done a great job in the classroom,” said Jason Blough, chair of ME-EM. “Because of this, many of his courses are at capacity every time he teaches them. Students are drawn in due to his reputation, passion and commitment. He is completely committed to the students and does a great job each and every day.”

Tewari’s teaching has led to students’ increased interest in the minor in manufacturing. Since 2014, the number of students completing the minor have quadrupled. His dedication and efforts in developing and improving curricula and programs also led to the creation of the Graduate Certificate in Quality Engineering. This has become the most popular certificate among those offered by ME-EM and is one of the five programs across campus selected by the Michigan Tech Global Campus to highlight.

Dean Janet Callahan is grateful for Tewari’s work. “I want to thank Radheshyam for being so passionate about the quality of his instruction and the associated student learning,” said Callahan. “The online offerings are strong additions to what our graduates learn and then apply in their workplace, which in turn advances the company’s competitiveness. It’s a win for everyone.”

The passion and motivation Tewari brings to his teaching is very evident to his students. Not only does he regularly receive strong course evaluations, but his teaching and mentoring frequently leave lasting impressions. As one student noted, “I want to let you know of the huge impact you have had on my life. You are a great teacher, and you made our basics strong and imprinted some great manufacturing knowledge in us. I’ve been in the manufacturing industry for the last two and a half years, and everywhere I go I share some of the knowledge I learned from you. Thank you for being an amazing coach and having such a significant impact in my life.”

SWE Section Congratulates Local FIRST State Championship Qualifiers

FIRST logo on abstract background.

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Section at Michigan Tech would like to congratulate all the local students who will be attending the FIRST in Michigan State Championship presented by DTE Foundation 2023 at Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU) from April 6-8.

Qualifiers for the state championship event are Jenna Beaudoin of Lake Linden-Hubbell FIRST Robotics Team No. 5486, Robotic Turmoil, and the Houghton FIRST Robotics Team No. 857, Superior Roboworks.

Beaudoin was selected as a district championship semifinalist at the Lake Superior State University (LSSU) FIRST Robotics District Competition. At the FIRST in Michigan State Championship, she will be interviewed as a qualifier for the FIRST Dean’s List award.

Beaudoin, a junior at Lake Linden-Hubbell High School, was nominated by her team mentor Robert Stenger ’18 (B.S. Physics). “Jenna is one of the most helpful, energetic and outgoing members of Team 5486,” said Stenger. “She is consistently jumping in wherever she can possibly help, including helping other teams work on their robots when needed. She has taken on any and all tasks needed of her from the time she joined our team.”  

“Our section congratulates Jenna on her well-deserved honor and accomplishments,” said SWE Section President Aerith Cruz (management information systems). “Jenna embodies the core values of SWE and FIRST in everything she does, and exemplifies great leadership qualities.”

Houghton FIRST Robotics Team No. 857, Superior Roboworks, competed at district events at Escanaba High School and LSSU. They ranked first at Escanaba and won the event, and ranked second at LSSU and were event finalists. The team also earned the Engineering Inspiration Award at Escanaba and the Autonomous Award at LSSU.

Currently, Superior Roboworks is ranked sixth in the state out of 479 teams. Their performance qualified them for the FIRST in Michigan State Championship at SVSU. They will be among 160 of the best teams in the state competing for the 82 spots that will advance to the FIRST Championship in Houston, Texas, from April 19-22. 

“As a former drive team member of No. 857, I recognize the hard work that was put into their excellent performance and would like to congratulate all of 857’s members on overcoming the small and large challenges that come with competing at multiple FRC events,” said Erik Lund ’18 (B.S. Mechanical Engineering), now a test systems engineer at General Motors. “I’m excited to see where this season takes them and will be watching intently from the sidelines.”

The SWE Section is thrilled that so many students from our area will be competing in both the Dean’s List and FIRST in Michigan State Championship. It is great to see our Tech alumni excited about FRC and continuing to support teams in our area. We look forward to seeing the competition results.

By Amanda West, President-Elect, Society of Women Engineers.

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Play Final Tiebreaker – 2023 FIM District Escanaba Event presented by Highline Fast video
Preview image for Final Tiebreaker - 2023 FIM District Escanaba Event presented by Highline Fast video

Final Tiebreaker – 2023 FIM District Escanaba Event presented by Highline Fast

Final Tiebreaker

View more matches by Team 857 – Superior Roboworks (2023).

SWE, Engineering Ambassadors Host Engineering Day Events During March 2023

Instrument with electronics circuit board.
Instrument in the Plexus Lab.

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) section at Michigan Tech and Engineering Ambassadors hosted an Engineering Day at Dollar Bay-Tamarack City Elementary for K-5 students last Friday (March 24).

Kindergarten and first grade students learned about buoyancy by making tinfoil boats and loading them with marbles until they sank. Second and third graders made roller coasters for marbles and explored the concepts of potential and kinetic energy. Fourth and fifth graders learned about photovoltaic cells and that they cannot store energy while making series and parallel circuits. We especially loved the survey comment: “Electricity is cool!” We thank the Dollar Bay-Tamarack City students and teachers for learning with us and we’d love to host another Engineering Day with you.

Last Saturday (March 25), SWE hosted their annual Engineering Day for Girl Scouts. Youth from northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula came to campus to learn about engineering. The Daisies and Brownies made their own paddle boats and paper airplanes with SWE and Concrete Canoe. They loved seeing the concrete canoe in the Dow building and seeing the difference in weights of the canoe concrete and concrete that is used in sidewalks. One Brownie named Amy (third grade) wrote: “I Loved it here. I amy want to come here for colage.”

The Juniors explored electrical and computer engineering (ECE) with SWE members from the ECE department and Blue Marble Security Enterprise. They met the robot, Ned, who sorts LEGO blocks. They visited the Plexus Lab and watched a shamrock circuit board being made. They explored series and parallel circuits using Play-Doh and LEDs. The most exciting parts were the Arduino and FPGA — students connected a three-color LED to an Arduino and then modified the code to change the rate at which the lights cycled. Each youth changed the code for the FPGA such that their name or a word scrolled across the screen. A fourth grade Junior commented, “I loved this! I really want to do this again,” while a fifth grader said, “It was amazing! Thank you!”

SWE members enjoyed working with the Girl Scouts — this is one of our favorite outreach events. The section is already planning for next year’s event.

By Gretchen Hein, Advisor, Society of Women Engineers.


Engineering Ambassadors and SWE Host Engineering Day on MLK Day 2023